If only Huckabee…

March 10, 2010

I just finished reading Mike Huckabee’s memoir of the campaign trail, called Do the Right Thing.  It is perhaps even more instructive now than a year ago.  How much different the country would have been if he had been allowed to become President!

As he wrote about how much they were able to do on so little money, I was reminded of a letter and a blog post* I wrote as the Texas primary approached.  I noted that both the Texas and Ohio Leagues of Women Voters had excluded Mike Huckabee from their voter’s guide to the candidates simply because he hadn’t raised or spent enough money.  Their standard of viability was how fast the candidate burned through cash.

At the time, I noted that the League of Women Voters prided themselves as a nonpartisan political organization. They claim they have “fought since 1920 to improve our systems of government and impact public policies through citizen education and advocacy”.  I called their exclusion of the number 2 candidate – even from a quickly editable website – “an aggregeous act of electioneering, an unconscionable interference with the political process.”

And so, voters in Texas were not given opportunity to weigh the common sense ideas of Mr Huckabee, and America lost.

I found Do the Right Thing at my local library.  I’m sure you can find it there or at the bookstore.  Either way, it’s worth the effort to read.

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* I started this particular blog to be a member of Huck’s Army and one of his unpaid bloggers.  I’ve done quite a bit of blogging since then, but without the inspiration of Arkansas’ former Governor, I’d be talking to myself.

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Expectation Management

March 10, 2010

Simon Hefler’s UK Telegraph article titled “The end of the road for Barack Obama?“, he says “the root of the problem seems to be the management of expectations.”

During the campaign,  Mr Obama dazzled audiences with rhetoric.  And the black community was excited at the option of a black president.  The mainstream media also fell for it. As Hefler put it,

“Mr Obama benefited in his campaign from an idiotic level of idolatry, in which most of the media participated with an astonishing suspension of cynicism.”

On 7 Sep 08, I posted a review about how Mr Obama was all theater, and the image was winning more than Senator McCain’s focus on substance.  I noted that during the campaign, Obama didn’t even travel with a press pool.  “Everything is scripted.”

At the time, I worried that “Obama may try to push us to ‘a Brave New World where highly paid symbolic analysts construct reality by manipulating symbols,’  but if he is elected, he will quickly find out how uncooperative the rest of the world is, at our peril.”

As Hefler put it, “The magnificent campaign created the notion that Mr Obama could walk on water. Oddly enough, he can’t.”

Vacuous promises of change are hostages to fortune if they cannot be delivered upon to improve the living conditions of a people. The slickness of campaigning that comes from a combination of heavy funding and public relations expertise does not inevitably translate into an ability to govern. There is no point a nation’s having the audacity of hope unless it also has the sophistication and the will to turn it into action. As things stand, Barack Obama and America under his leadership do not.